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National Cinema Day: A Onetime Event or a New Annual Date to Celebrate?

This year the variety of national holidays is enriched with one more date to celebrate. The first ever National Cinema Day was launched by NATO’s new non-profit Cinema Foundation (an arm of the National Association of Theater Owners) to welcome moviegoers to celebrate a day at the movies with discounted admissions, and from now on might become an annual event held on September 3.

The idea behind this one-day event held at more than 3,000 locations with more than 30,000 screens is to bring together audiences of all ages to enjoy any movie, any format, and any showtime all day on September 3 for no more than $3 at participating movie theaters.

People have been watching films at cinemas for more than a century after the first motion picture theaters began opening in the United States in the 1900s, and nowadays moviegoing became one of the trendiest and most favorite shared experiences in the world notwithstanding constantly emerging new formats of entertainment, including television, DVDs, streaming, videogames, VR and more yet to come.

“After this summer’s record-breaking return to cinemas, we wanted to do something to celebrate moviegoing,” said Cinema Foundation president Jackie Brenneman. “We’re doing it by offering a ‘”thank you” to the moviegoers that made this summer happen, and by offering an extra enticement for those who haven’t made it back yet.”

Kicked off with the intent to remind the world how fun it is to watch movies on big screens, the first National Cinema Day garnered thousands of posts on social media under the #NationalCinemaDay hashtag. The reactions are all positive with some people just making their post-pandemic comeback to movie theaters, while others coming back to watch either recent hits in a new format, or all-time legendary blockbusters like Steven Spielberg’s Jaws in IMAX in Los Angeles, or Akira Kurosawa’s Ran in New York.

For instance, @thebuzzct says on Instagram: “I must admit that I haven’t returned to a movie theater since the pandemic, so what better time to retune than today!” While another Instagram user @lumitywdw97 shares: “I’m officially celebrating National Cinema Day with a trip to The Best Seat in Town and witness my second theatrical viewing of last year’s number one hit movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home, but this time it will be the More Fun Stuff Edition with 11 minutes of new footage and witnessing it XD.”

This weekend’s box office is historically considered to be one of the slowest weekends of the year  – will the commercial benefit of this initiative prove its results? 

In any case, the only thought of finally having National Cinema Day in our calendars is a great booster for exciting ideas on how to spend the Labor Day weekend. Moreover, this event might potentially return the moviegoers in the fall. Each showtime on September 3 includes a sizzle reel of upcoming films from A24, Amazon Studios, Disney, Focus Features, Lionsgate, Neon, Paramount, Sony Pictures, United Artists Releasing, Universal, and Warner Bros.